Can we put our new Silkie into coop with 2 NON-Silkies hens???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Snugglebum, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Snugglebum

    Snugglebum New Egg

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Sydney
    Hi There,

    We currently have 2 hens - 1 x 3 year old New Hampshire Red & 1 x 9mth old Isa Brown. We have just been given a Silkie chicken (about 3 months old) unexpectedly this evening. It had been left for us as a gift at my parent's house.

    At the moment, the Silkie is in a box with shavings on the bottom of it, in our dining room, with some food & water.

    We are nervous about putting it into the outdoor coop with the other 2 hens, as we think it might be pecked to death. Is this likely to happen?? (i.e. For it to be killed by the other 2?)

    We are currently looking to buy another Silkie to keep this one's company & think that it's probably better to house the Silkies separately from the existing 2 hens.. though if this can be avoided, it would be good as chicken houses are not exactly cheap.

    Please give me some advice! Many thanks!!
     
  2. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    [​IMG]

    You will want to quarantine the new chick for at least 4 weeks in case it has anything that could be spread to your other 2 hens. So that will give you time to figure out what you want to do.

    After that period you can either decide to introduce her slowly by placing her in a place where they can see each other but not get at each other... an adjacent pen or a small pen inside the pen.... and then after a while introduce her at night so that they can roost together and then awaken together the next morning.......

    yes, they CAN attack a new bird, especially to establish a pecking order. It could be quick and mostly painless... or drawn out and bloody... you won;t know until it happens. So you'll want to be around to monitor everyone's behavior at first.

    OR yes, you could get some more Silkies and give them their own pen [​IMG] I'm always in favor of MORE chickens! [​IMG]
     
  3. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    I would say definately get another Silkie and give them their own pen. I have Silkies and standard chickens, and I have a Silkie coop and pen --I don't house them with the others. A pecking order will definately have to be established, and since Silkies are smaller than the standards, and also gentle and slow, can't fly, and due to their crests, etc, usually can't see very well, they are pretty well handicapped. Probably not only will a pecking order be established, with her on the bottom, but a bully order may also be established, where she is so whipped down she is afraid to go near the feeder and waterer, and just gives up and stays out of harms way till she starves to death. I had a standard hen that this happened to. I noticed she often stayed in the corner of the pen, or on the roost. Wondered if she was getting food and water, so would shoo everyone else out of the coop and try to get her to eat, drink, etc. She would, at first, then wouldn't even eat or drink for me--afraid of retaliation, I guess. I noticed she was getting very light, so I put her in a hospital pen I had with an injured hen, and she soon was back in shape, eating and drinking, laying, and great buddies with the other hen, who is crippled. So I have left them together, and they are great friends, and company for each other.
    Anyway, That is just my experience, but I sure wouldn't put the Silkie in with the larger standards. Good luck with whatever you decide.
     

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